A law that was drafted to rein in Wall Street is now hurting Main Street. The Dodd-Frank Act imposed 398 new regulations that have thus far added more than $21.8 billion in costs and 60.7 million paperwork burden hours.
A “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” proposal from the administration drove more than $250 million in regulatory costs this week. Annual costs were $144 million, with all rulemakings omitting monetized benefits; paperwork increased by more than 2.4 million hours.
The Obama Administration is back with the final version of its so-called "Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, which defines the bodies of water that will be regulated under the Clean Water Act of 1972. The rule was necessitated by a series of Supreme Court decisions that ruled the Environmental Protection Agency (and the Army Corps of Engineers) had overstepped their authority under the Clean Water Act.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently released the final version of its much anticipated “Water of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The rule seeks to define the waterways under EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The unofficial, pre-publication version of the rule is 297 pages.
In order to account for geographic variation in health care costs, insurance issuers are free to set different prices for across different locations.
The High Cost Plan Excise Tax, or “Cadillac Tax,” is one of the key provisions of Obamacare, both from the perspective of raising revenue and health policy. Beginning in 2018, there will be a tax of 40 percent on the amount of employer-provided insurance that exceeds a threshold. The threshold is set at $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for family coverage in 2018, but is adjusted upward each year based on the Consumer Product Index (CPI).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule to restructure many provisions regarding Medicaid managed care services. The unofficial, pre-publication version of the proposal is 653 pages. It is both an economically significant and major rule, with annualized costs exceeding $112 million.
Markets tanked yesterday, ostensibly over fears that the remarks of Chairwoman Janet Yellen put a rate increase back on the table. It is always a dangerous game to read the minds of millions of investors to conclude “the” cause of equity market fluctuations. But the chatter reinforced endless rehashing of the Fed’s 2015 policy over the past several months. Enough! When all is said and done:
Last month the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first estimate of the growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2015. According to the report, real GDP’s annualized growth rate was only a dismal 0.2 percent. So what exactly caused this slow growth in the first three months of the year? Some argue that this low estimate is due to an underlying methodological issue that results in a significant underestimate for the first quarter. However, several economic indicators have decelerated or declined over the last few months, indicating tepid growth in the first quarter. Given the questions surrounding the validity of the last GDP estimate, it is particularly important to examine economic metrics from a variety of sources and analyze their implications for growth.
Where I grew up in the Midwest, the landscape is filled with corn fields, punctuated by the even more distinct green of John Deere tractors. The iconic company has largely stayed out of the news, but this changed recently when it was reported that the manufacturer “told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors.” What the company actually argued is much less egregious than what is being portrayed in headlines, but it did reignite a debate over the future of innovation in America. Innovation in the 21st century requires community and collaboration, so manufacturers naturally walk a fine line with regard to legal positions and customer communications.